“When I was little I asked my papa why he always held my daddy’s hand.” Sarah smiles, waving her arm in her parents direction. There Papa is, his hand intertwined with Dad’s. Papa’s hair is gray finally. Daddy went gray completely almost decade and a half ago. Sarah remembers them looking younger, but this is just as good.
Aliens? They like classical music, and we're going to exploit them because ~capitalism~.
The Penumbra Podcast:
Aliens? Their stuff is pretty cool, but they're extinct and we live here now.
Aliens? Great gardeners. We're taking credit for their existence. If they try to conquer Earth, we're taking credit for that too.
Welcome to Night Vale:
Aliens? Whaaaaaaat? Who said anything about aliens??? They TOTALLY don't run the government and use humanity as a testing ground for reality-altering technology. LOOK AT THIS CUTE CAT AND ALSO MY HOT SCIENTIST HUSBAND STOP THINKING ABOUT ALIENS WE'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO THINK ABOUT THE ALIENS!!!!!
Alice Isn't Dead:
Aliens? *deep sigh* This country is obsessed with the idea of "otherness". We label those who are different from us, those we deem unworthy of sharing this land, as "other". As "illegal aliens". Why? Is it such a crime to be different? Is otherness inherently bad?
Aliens? ALIENS???? ARE ALIENS REAL TOO?? WE HAVE ENOUGH TO WORRY ABOUT IN OUR OWN GODFORSAKEN OCEAN WE CAN'T WORRY ABOUT ALIENS TOO!!! Also hey I have a cool story about aliens.
honestly one of my favourite things abt tony becoming iron man is that like…he didn’t have a trial run? like sure, he tested the flight systems, but he didn’t go try to fight crime in his own backyard to see how it would go first. he had a purpose!! he had the vague outline of a plan!!! he finally knew what he had to do and he knew in his heart it was right!!!! my deeply traumatized furious civilian son stepped into the suit of armour that he built in his basement, flew directly to afghanistan, and fucked up a tank
Paper pre-stream reads “Easter Egg: Brian Wayne Foster’s home address is inscribed on the set somewhere.”
Brian reveals that he’s wearing the shirt with the cross-eyed picture of him that Sam was wearing in the last episode.
There is a betta fish on set, and as soon as they zoom in on it, Marisha’s name-card pops up. Brian: “This is a betta fish. The alpha fish we keep behind a paywall.”
Keyleth now holds the record for most damage dealt in a single turn (690) and the most damage taken in a single blow (363).
Matt kinda hoped that Vex would revive Keyleth and just be like “tell no one this happened.” Everyone adored everything about that moment.
Asked about their characters basically becoming demi-gods at this point, Taliesin: “I’m feeling smug about it.” Sam points out that most of VM isn’t particularly mature, so it’s a little worrying that they’re gaining this much power. Matt; “Eh, fortune favors the bold. It’s fine.”
Matt hasn’t had a campaign get to the upper levels like this before, so he’s really excited to try some new things in the coming arc. Taliesin has never played at such high levels before, or even heard of someone playing at such high levels.
Taliesin figures the most Percy way for Percy to die would be to go into a bar, attempt to threaten everyone, and have everyone turn on him. Sam on the most Taryon way for Taryon to die: pre-Vox Machina, he would go off on a paid hunt and he’d somehow still lose.
Brief digression about how to play out death by autoerotic asphyxiation in D&D. As you do.
Matt definitely shied away from having players “roll for baby” over the break, since he thought that definitely wasn’t a fair thing to throw at a player based on a dice roll. (“…unless you’re Scanlan”) Matt also mentions that Vax and Keyleth have had conversations about how they’re "probably for the most part an asexual relationship.”
Taliesin expands a bit on the fancy ball at Whitestone: “It’s basically a Medieval Times version of Santa’s Village.” Brian: “What would Percy wear to that?” Taliesin: “Cowboy boots and a smile.”
Taliesin mentions that Percy and Cassandra are starting to be a little sillier around each other now, trying to remind themselves that it’s all over. The thing they have most in common that VM doesn’t share is being the product of a legacy and learning to find their own way within that legacy.
Taliesin has already started a playlist for his character in the next campaign.
Matt is gonna start everyone in the next campaign halfway through level 2 so they get to play with their characters a bit before deciding which archetype to go for.
Sam has a brief rant about how many planes there are in D&D. “Let’s streamline. Let’s streamline.” Matt: “Sam, I am so excited for the RPG you’re releasing next year.” Sam: “The Three Places.”
Matt wasn’t expecting the Shadowfell reveal to come so soon. There was gonna be another reveal down the road that might still play out in the game. Elements of the story may have been accelerated as a result of that bit of player ingenuity.
Taliesin’s character was eaten and there was a near-TPK in the Shadowfell the last time a campaign he played in went there. (He and the other dead players had to go back in playing as the mercenaries sent to retrieve their bodies.)
Keyleth’s natural 20 when touching the orb back in episode 34 was sort of an example of failure by success, in that it delayed the Shadowfell reveal considerably. At that time, though, she could’ve died from the damage it dealt, or gone unconscious and bled out on the other side. If she had made it through, she wouldn’t have had Plane Shift and would’ve had to find a way back, which would’ve started the Shadowfell stuff early. So they would’ve had to work out their priorities given that the Chroma Conclave attacked shortly thereafter.
Matt thought of the scry (reverse-whisper) as a successful test run for maybe pulling out most of the party and isolating players again in the future.
Sam talks a bit about how Matt takes the “cartoonish backstories” they make up and turns them into a coherent narrative.
They were at Matt’s house digging through his minis trying to figure out where the story was gonna go next. (Brian calls out Matt’s impressive mini-painting skills.)
The silencer is a ten-foot bubble of Silence spell that follows Percy around: downside is he can’t hear or say anything while he’s taking those shots. Taliesin is very excited for those potential downsides.
Sam had no warning about the kidnapping; he found out when the rest of us did. When she handed Taryon a cream puff, Matt secretly rolled a constitution saving throw for him—it was essentially a delayed Sleep spell.
Percy’s chilled out a bit over his anger at Scanlan during the past year.
Tary’s started to learn his limitations over the past year—he’s aware of how strong he can be as part of a team, but hasn’t really ventured out on his own yet and is worried about how much of a crutch the money has been for him.
Talks Machine in the Dark:
Matt talks about some of the weird and wacky dragons out there in the expanded D&D literature. Sam: “By the way, in my RPG, there’s only one kind of dragon.” Matt really enjoys creating new creatures, so he’s been veering away from the books a little more often.
Someone suggests that Tary could multiclass into bard. Sam hadn’t thought about that. Matt points out that Doty’s the one writing the book, so maybe Doty should become a bard. Sam: “Can Doty be a bard?” Matt: “No.”
If Percy had the power, would he bring back his dead family? If he thought the consequences would be minimal, sure, but he also has a respect for death. Every time they’ve managed to bring someone back, it was the D&D equivalent of a crash cart, within 24 hours. Percy doesn’t even know where his family’s bodies are. Matt, grinning: “I do.”
Matt points out that this is part of why Keyleth is so frightened of higher-level resurrection spells: how do you choose who you can bring back? What gives you that right? What are the moral implications? He also brings back Kerrek’s probing questions about resurrection. Taliesin sums it up beautifully: “It’s dark and twisted and strange once you start pulling it apart.”
The hardest character death for Matt was Pike’s death back in the home game—it was the first time for a lot of the players to realize that they’d spent a year and a half with this character and she could still be gone like that. Apparently Ashley came home at 3AM distraught and tried explaining the whole thing to Brian, who knew nothing about D&D at the time and was a little confused. “…you died? At Travis and Laura’s?”
Doty can speak primarily because it’s funny, and also because Sam wanted to give Matt something more to do when he plays Doty. There was a lot of discussion over which word it would be. Sam: “It could’ve been Hodor.”
Someone asked whether another Battle Royale will come up, and Matt thinks probably before too long, next time they have players away or just need a week off.
I have a head canon that at some point before signing with the Falcs, Jack made an appointment with a cardiologist, to deal with a heart problem he noticed developing the end of his senior year. The doctor kept assuring Jack his heart was fine, but Jack knew all the racing and skipping of beats he felt in his chest was part of a bigger medical issue.
Finally, on their sixth appointment, the doctor gave Jack a diagnosis:
“There’s some type of
arrhythmia, I know it."
"Jack, we’ve done 5 stress tests, you could run the Boston marathon right now, comfortably."
"But you see, whenever I walk into the Haus kitchen, I feel the fluttering. It’s significant. Also, when Bittle and I went to the beach Saturday, my heart started hammering, the Falcs are going to find some cardiac problem in the physical."
"It’s the guy, Jack."
"Did you never notice that every occurrence involves this Bittle person you won’t stop talking about?"
"I don’t talk about Bittle that much-"
"Jack - I know he switched from unsalted butter to salted butter for his Moomaw’s tarts, because the taste was off. I know he has a cute little crinkle in his nose when he laughs and the fact that his laughter somehow induces chest pain in you. I know that he wore his red shorts four times in the last three weeks - and that you had a cardiac episode every time he bent over in them. It’s the guy, Jack."
"So…you’re saying Bittle is bad for my heart?"
"I need you to leave."
"Is there something I can do? Like a low-Bittle diet? I can’t cut him out completely. Should I ask him to stop wearing the shorts? Maybe if he wore them more I’d get used to them? What about when he dances to Beyonce, are you sure that’s the reason my heart st-"
"Leave, and send me an invitation to your wedding."
(Spoilers for the end of the Ringed City below, beware!)
We’re not sure exactly how long Gael has been on the road, in pursuit of the Dark Soul to bring back to the nameless painter, but we’re certain he’s been around for an extremely long time. He has always been an unassuming knight, a slave, fodder to the bleakest battles. But Gael has something truly special in the world of Dark Souls: purpose. He has always found purpose to carry on and move forward. Patiently, one step at a time. His determination is so great he was one of the few who has made it to the very end of the world, where everything crafted by gods and men has turned into ash. Gael’s final quest was a terrible one that would consume his own life. Regardless, he persisted, until he was able to find that which would corrupt him. He knew he wouldn’t be able to take on this quest alone. As such, he guides us throughout the Ringed City, guides us to find him, so that we may fulfill the promise he made a very long time ago.
The Temperance card reflects that you have a clear, long-term vision of what you want to achieve. You are not rushing things along; rather you are taking your time to ensure that you do the best job you can. This card also reflects a higher learning in what you are doing and demonstrates that you are learning a great deal on your journey. You are at peace with what you are doing and it is all coming together very well. Your inner voice is guiding you gently to the right outcome and you are patiently listening and following. You have a very balanced perspective on the situation at this time and you are in a very good position to make the right choices. Temperance asks you to be patient so that you can act with timing and precision. Patience and moderation will result in good management of all things. Do not feel that you need to rush, just let the situation evolve at its natural pace.
Below are some cryptic updates regarding the project. Read on if you’d like!